Best Cruises: The Americas
Several cruise lines are launching Cuba sailings this year with culturally focused itineraries specially designed for U.S. travelers. Luxury line Haimark's nine-night voyage from Miami on a 210-passenger vessel circumnavigates the island and stops at historic Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba, and Holguin, plus nature reserves. Rates start at $4,599; haimarkline.com.
Guests on International Expeditions’s active-yet-stylish voyages aboard the 40-passenger Anakonda can now explore the Andean cloud forest, as well on a new nine-night river-and-mountain itinerary. Rates for the four 2016 dates start at $4,498, ietravel.com.
Central & South America
Crystal's January 22 voyage aboard the 1,070-passenger Crystal Serenity combines three life-list experiences in a single 20-day trip: a Panama Canal transit, a Galápagos excursion, and three nights at Machu Picchu (included for the ship's veranda and penthouse guests). Rates start at $6,575; crystalcruises.com.
Argentina, Brazil & Uruguay
Oceania Cruises’ leisurely sailing aboard the 1,250-passenger Marina from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro lasts 12 nights—time enough to hit the beaches, wineries, and colonial Montevideo, with a night each in two stately capitals. Rates start at $4,499; oceaniacruises.com.
Caribbean with Kids
If your Caribbean plans include the children, Disney Cruise Lines ships have an upscale edge that will please the adults (plus a few familiar characters on board that please every generation). Sailings from Port Canaveral and Miami make it easy to combine a cruise with other interests. Five-night rates from Miami start at $1,527 and seven-night sails from Port Canaveral start at $2,305; disneycruiseline.com.
Royal Caribbean's new 4,905-passenger Anthem of the Seas (sister to China-based Quantum of the Seas) is a true shipboard adventure park—think skydiving simulator, bumper cars, and a moving observation bubble high above the deck—that sails from New Jersey's Cape Liberty to the Bahamas through spring. Seven-, eight-, and nine-day sailing rates start at $704; royalcaribbean.com.